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Junior soldier from Ripon wins top award

Jordan McCarthy: Best Junior Soldier from the Royal Engineers. Credit: © Crown Copyright 2014

A Junior Soldier from Ripon received a top prize when he graduated from the prestigious Army Foundation College in Harrogate.

Jordan McCarthy (16) was awarded the prize as the Best Junior Soldier from the Royal Engineers.

He joined the Army Foundation College in September last year for the first of the newly designed courses combining vocational education and military training.

On the course, he completed Non-Vocational Qualifications in English, Maths and ICT as well as driver theory training.

“The best part of being here was making a new set of friends and knowing they’ll be friends for life,” said Jordan, a former pupil of Outwood Academy.

“The course as a whole has given me a wider sense of leadership – I had to lead a fire team on fire and manoeuvre and that was really challenging.”

The 23-week course delivers basic training to Junior Soldiers before they leave to follow their longer and more specialist technical training.

“The prize awarded to Jordan is the culmination of 12 months of hard work and dedication,” said Lieutenant Colonel Oz Lane, the College’s Commanding Officer.

“He can be rightly proud of his achievements at the College, and the staff and I wish him well as he goes forward to the second phase of his training which he hopes will be with the Royal Engineers.”

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  1. Tyne Tees

Neighbours watch house 'splitting in two'

A neighbour of the property on the verge of collapse has said she is shocked even though she knew about the gypsum problem.

"It's a bit of a shock, really.

"It's definitely widened since first thing this morning.

"We've been aware for quite some time that there's a gypsum problem in this area."

"You can't see the hole from here - just the poor house splitting in two.

"It's a worry for us residents, really. We're assured that our buildings are safe. But it's a bit close for comfort, really."

– Emily Moon, owner of neighbouring property
  1. Tyne Tees

Homeowners 'very distressed' at collapse danger

A councillor said he has spoken to the family living in the house on the verge of collapse and that they were "very distressed".

Local residents said there was a long-standing problem with gypsum-related subsidence in the area which had caused other homes to collapse over the years.

"I'm a little bit shocked by what's happened today. Surprised? Perhaps not, because there is a history in Ripon of gypsum dissolution.

"Whether this is actually down to gypsum, I don't know. I think it's too early to say. I suspect it is."

"My thoughts go out the the residents who were actually living in the house.

"It must be tremendously worrying at this point.

"I've spoken to them this morning and offered my support.

"They were very distressed this morning and they just wanted to get some sort of normality back into their lives."

– Stuart Martin, local Tory councillor on Harrogate Borough Council

The British Geological Survey has said that the most susceptible area in the UK for sinkholes is the Permian gypsum deposits of north-east England, particularly around Ripon.

  1. Tyne Tees

Specialist engineers working at sinkhole site

A sinkhole has opened up under a detached house, leaving part of the structure close to collapse and people living nearby worried about the future of their properties.

The 25ft (7.6m) wide hole opened up beneath the 100-year-old building in Magdalen's Close in Ripon, North Yorkshire.

Firefighters rescued a dog from the property before the whole area was sealed off.

"A fire engine and a heavy rescue unit from Ripon are currently on scene at Magdalen's Close in Ripon where cracks have appeared in the ground, causing damage to a nearby building.

"There are no occupiers in the property and one dog has been successfully rescued. Residents from adjacent properties have been evacuated as a precaution.

"The crews have cordoned off the area and are awaiting the arrival of specialist engineers."

– Firefighter
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